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Reality - The Life and Thoughts of Zach

Feb. 28th, 2006

06:51 pm - Reality

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From:zarfmouse
Date:March 1st, 2006 01:53 am (UTC)
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This is _also_ my reaction. It's all about context.

I hesitate to even use the words beautiful and ugly (hence all the scare quotes) because they have so many different meanings to me. Are we talking about my own judgement? About media norms? About the average person's judgement? About my unexamined expectations or about my reaction after contemplation? About some objective measurement of physical traits? And from any of those perspectives are we talking about physical/sexual attractiveness, about spiritual beauty (how they carry themselves, how alive they seem, how interesting they seem), about abstract aesthetics (how pleasing to the eye (not neccessarily due to sexual attractiveness) the shapes and colors and textures of their image are)?

And yah, the bones sticking out and the darkness around the eyes that looks like hangover, stress, or sleep deprivation were particularly ironic.

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From:msphys
Date:March 1st, 2006 02:11 am (UTC)
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See, that was my reaction; hence the whole thing is in quotes. Later I tried to figure out why my reaction consisted of words like "ugly," "beautiful," "person," and "trying." But it's basically my first reaction when, for example, I'm on the el and I see a woman with really fake-looking blonde hair, makeup that probably isn't very fresh, and clothes that are trendy and "sexy" but rather unflattering for her figure. And I think, look, there's an ordinary person trying to look like she stepped right out of a Cosmo ad and doing a terrible job of it, whereas I look like just another chick (dude?) riding the el, which is exactly what I am, and it didn't cost me any extra effort. And yet even though she clearly isn't any kind of famous celebrity, everyone is still staring at her and I'm still sitting there feeling wildly jealous of the "beautiful" person a few seats down from me and thinking that no one ever has to apologize for calling her "sir" on the el.

I just don't get it. Even in "real life," with "ordinary people," there's a sense that anyone who at least approaches that glossy celebrity ideal embedded in our minds is "more beautiful" than "everyone else," even though I'm using so many "scare quotes" it's getting quite "ridiculous."
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From:zarfmouse
Date:March 1st, 2006 02:21 am (UTC)
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It's so "true"!
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